Sunday, November 20, 2016

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe

I'm doing something I seldom do on my blog, talking about a book that isn't available for another month. It's released December 27th. If you're a reader, you might want to ask for it for an after-holiday gift, or use a gift card to buy it. Many of you might remember Will Schwalbe's The End of Your Life Book Club, written about the books he and his mother discussed when she was dying. Now, he's written a very personal book about books that have been essential in explaining his own life. It's a fascinating collection. You'll recognize some of the titles in Books for Living. Even if they aren't books that resonate with you, they may trigger your own memories.

Schwalbe's introduction includes one of the scariest nightmares a reader could face, not being able to find a book for a long trip. His storytelling is charming. And, he says, "It's the thought of being bookless for hours that jolts me awake in a cold sweat." I'm right there with him.

In my field, we do Reader's Advisory, suggesting books others might want to read. Schwalbe could do excellent reader's advisory. He understands that people have to find "the right book at the right time, the one that tells you what you need to know or feel when you need to know or feel it."

Schwalbe analyzes the books that have moved him over the years, titles such as The Girl on the Train, Stuart Little, The Odyssey, The Little Prince. He summarizes the book while also discussing his relationship with the title. Schwalbe says, "Every book changes your life. So I like to ask: How is this book changing mine?"

Books for Living might not change your life. But, it might remind you of books that did change your life. I'm suggesting Will Schwalbe's book for all of us who are passionate about collecting books that move us, change us, influence our lives.

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. Alfred A. Knopf. 2017. ISBN 9780385353540 (hardcover), 288p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Carol N Wong said...

I loved Little Prince so much!

Lesa said...

I did, too, Carol.

Gram said...

This book is on my hold list at the library. If this had been a bad review I might have taken it off. Thanks.

Lesa said...

Keep it on your list, Gram.